André Récipon, the spiritual son and first successor of Raoul Follereau (1903-1977), died on 16th January 2015, one week before 62nd World Leprosy Day. Mr Récipon also played an instrumental role in the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations.
Born in 1925, André Récipon was active as a volunteer from the age of 18. He entered banking after the war and had an outstanding career as a director and then as an administrator.
Raoul Follereau entrusted André Récipon with managing and further developing his charitable organisation in 1968. True to the spirit of Raoul Follereau, André Récipon can be considered the architect of the Fondation Raoul Follereau. He provided the impetus for the vision, enabling staff within this organisation to sustain initiatives promoting the dignity of human beings, whether excluded because of a disease, ignorance or poverty.
Today the Fondation Raoul Follereau supports over 350 projects and programmes in 32 countries, including France, contributing towards the creation of a fairer world, in line with the social doctrine of the church.
Not only was André Récipon fully engaged in the activities of Fondation Raoul Follereau; he was also behind numerous initiatives for the common good.
In particular, he played a determining role in the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (of which the Fondation Raoul Follereau was a founding member) and in the promotion of social housing in France, creating the Fondation for Social Housing (Fondation pour le Logement Social).
Over the course of his life, André Récipon received many national awards, such as the Volunteer Combatant’s Cross 1939 – 1945 and the National Order of the Legion of Honour, and international awards (including from Benin, Mali, Luxembourg, Malta, Madagascar and Lebanon).
“A great and strong voice, always from the heart, generous, engaged, loyal and faithful, has been extinguished. His charismatic, and at times overzealous voice, will call on our consciences for many years to come. You so loved others and helped them so much. Thank you André for all you gave us during your lifetime.”
Professor Marc Gentilini, member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Economic and Social Council, and honorary member of the supervisory board of the Fondation Raoul Follereau.
Translated by ILEP with the kind permission of the Fondation Raoul Follereau.